by Maria Sarri and Yannis Stamatiou : an event directed on the specific two bridges of Tavronitis and on a Samuel Beckett's text (A piece of Monologue); the effort for a meeting and its perpetual postponement.
BUILT_EVENT sheds light to and signs chosen specific places. Each project manifests an insistence to a particular existing place and organizes the group’s move to it. The collection of each participant’s remaining material constitutes the work itself. Each visit’s remains are gathered in order to define the places by a plural failure of description.
The archive containing recordings (photographs, videos and texts), is taking the form of an open book while it is also stored in Internet data repositories. Each project’s archive is proposed as an unstable definition of the place, constructed by a permanent “trial and error” algorithm, fixed on the common visit event. The visit is proposed as a mourning of a lost presence, as an awareness of the absence of the’ place itself’ and as a substitute of the place identity. Each event is considered a theatrical act representing a fake but legitimate ‘substance’ of the place.
I don't know how I got here or where this place is...It could be some spot off the South Motorway to Athens, that is, a dot on the map next to the line that denotes the motorway. Some time before leaving the city my eye catches a big sign: ΤΑΦΟΙ ΒΕΝΙΖΕΛΩΝ -or was it in another journey? I don't know how I got here or where this place is although it looks familiar. I remember vaguely some name mentioned in the text- Μ ά λ ε μ ε - I am perhaps near Μάλεμε . If I had a map of Crete I would locate Μάλεμε and Χανιά on it: ΜΑ Λ Ε Μ Ε and Χ Α Ν Ι Α would be two indecipherable sets of small straight lines on the map.
The project focuses on the area around the metal military bridge and the parallel reinforced concrete bridge, located a short distance away along Tavronitis River. Two bridges (one abandoned and the other used by a present-day highway), the river bed and the surrounding facilities constitute the site around which this project revolves. Twenty kilometres west of Chania, the Tavronitis River passes through its namesake village, close to Crete’s military airport at Maleme. This is the area where German paratroopers landed and the most known clashes in the Battle of Crete occurred. On 3 July 1941 the Germans executed 12 men from the village of Tavronitis, located nearby the bridges, in reprisal for the execution of the crew and paratroopers of a German plane that had made an emergency landing near the Tavronitis river bridge. Much more recently, 50 metres before the KTEO Centre entrance, a PATRIOT rocket from an A-7 CORSAIR military aircraft plunged into the Tavronitis, possibly released from the Souda Bay firing range according to an article published in the local newspaper Mesogeios on 3 July 1998. The sustainable development programme for the Region of Crete refers to Tavronitis as a village with tourism prospects (beach, archaeological sites) and its river is considered to be one of Crete’s major wetlands. The village is a junction along the main road network that traverses this northern region of Crete east to west. The high-capacity, reinforced concrete bridge standing next to the military metal bridge was built to serve this network’s needs. The metal bridge, too, appears to have been reconstructed.
The 2 BRIDGES, as a built event, are a spatial redundancy: the one has replaced the other. The construction of the concrete bridge has turned the metal bridge into a ruin. In the post-digital era, the bridge leads to the concept of a link and to the aspatial attachment that the link connotes. The highway bridge calls to mind this “non local” juncture. Moreover, the old metal bridge was erected by army engineers and therefore introduces the theme of war and of the army’s social presence into the area. A large army camp is located next to the two bridges and the Maleme military airport is visible to the north-east.
The highway bridge forms a familiar connection between places, whereas the metal bridge, through the circumstances of its construction, alludes to the vagrant element, present in the forceful conquest of alike places. The bridges’ dual installation in its current state functions as an essay introducing, through comparison, the particular local features that characterise the area into the sphere of connecting and bridging in general, into the world of military constructions and familiar community projects. By touching the two banks, the bridges release the tension of the gap spanned in each case, but each time in a different manner. At this particular point, at the mouth of the Tavronitis, a quest is conducted in search of the uniqueness of this particular link through constructions brought to life in each person’s eyes. The description of the links and their negations supports, by means of speech and projects, ocular constructions, which are notional constructions. The project collects projects for the two bridges and these projects comment, build and propose trial architectural interventions in the form of comments on the particular place and the two bridges.
The 2 BRIDGES_builtEvent project serves as a type of forum for the invention of (designed or written) constructions: the constructions describe, are erected, function as parasites, serve as drafts, are attached, underscore, outline or comment, without exhausting the selected site with the two existing bridges. The site is constructed by the project as a notional area serving to plan particular facilities: it patiently awaits the responsible speeches and constructions it is due.